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Google discontinues a bunch of calendar services, including Sync

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The year isn’t over yet, but Google appears to have already announced at least one New Years resolution. The search engine giant revealed a list of features that will not make it to 2013; a move the company has referred to as “winter cleaning.”

“Last January we renewed our resolution to focus on creating beautiful, useful products that improve millions of people’s lives every day,” read Google’s official blog. “To make the most impact, we need to make some difficult decisions. So as 2012 comes to an end, here are some additional products, features and services we’re closing.”

As of January 4, Google will be eliminating some of the less popular Google Calendar features. Users will not longer be able to create new reservable times for their Calendar through Appointment Slots, although existing slots will remain active for one more year. Two Calendar Labs called “Smart Rescheduler” and “Add a gadget by URL” will also be removed, and Google has suggested alternatives on its blog. Other features that Google plans to eradicate include the “Check your calendar via sms” and “Create a calendar via sms (GVENT),” which will no longer be available as of today.

Google is also making some tweaks to its Google Sync feature. On January 30, users will no longer bet able to set up new devices using Google Sync, but existing connections will not be affected. Google Sync will continue to support Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. For other individual users, the company is implementing sync features using open protocols through IMA, CalDAV and CardDAV.

Along with these previous announcements, Google is also discontinuing its Calendar Sync function as of today. Google Sync for Nokia S60 will also be eliminated on January 30 along with a service called SyncML, which is a feature that syncs a user’s contacts and is compatible with a small number of older mobile devices.

In addition to these calendar and syncing capabilities, Google will be shutting down two other apps and services. The Issue Tracker API, a tool for developers that tracks and updates issues with client applications, will be discontinued on June 14, 2013. Google’s virtual loyalty punch card app known as Punchd will also be eliminated as of June 7, 2013.

As Google notes, these are some of its less popular features and apps, so users won’t be missing much with their disappearance. As the company said when it announced that it will not be developing apps for Windows 8, Google is “very careful” about where it spends its time and resources, so hopefully we’ll be seeing some new improvements in 2013.